"Baby Talk" - Have a frugal family adventure

Are you looking for an adventure for your family this weekend?

Take a step back to your childhood, sleep under the stars and support a great cause, all at the same time. The Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, is this Saturday, June 28. Before you start planning your campout, take a few minutes to visit their website, nwf.org, and register your campers. When you do this, a $2 donation will be made, per person, to support the NWFís wildlife conservation work. Plus their website is filled with extra information and tips about camping with your family.

Camping is a frugal familyís dream adventure. Why do I believe this? Well, for a few reasons actually. First, you don't really need expensive equipment to camp with your family. Take our pop up camper; it's a 1967 StarCraft. It still has the original green/tan canvas, with only a few minor tares. Boy, do I love it! It screams nostalgic. But really you don't even need a camper. We also have a smaller pop up tent that works just as well and was affordable too.



Secondly, you can camp almost anywhere; a state park, private park, your own back yard or even your living room floor. FYI Ė my kids love living room camping too.

Last, but certainly not least, food for camping is so easy. All you really need to do is pack your cooler with what your family likes to grill and eggs for breakfast. I always bring our cast iron skillet for additional cooking, besides grilling. Then you just need to toss in some drinks and s'mores supplies, and you are good to go.

I also love camping food because it doesn't have to be gourmet. This means, I try to involve my children in the cooking process as much as possible. I know my son will eat multiple hot dogs, if he roasts them himself. All in all, with a little pre-planning and set-up, your family can enjoy a memory filled adventure still within a family friendly budget.

But all frugalness aside for a moment, there is also one other reason why I truly love camping. I feel like as adults, we are always busy and always juggling our priorities. Plus we do this all while trying not to become too stressed. Camping is an opportunity to stop, take a deep breath, relax and be like a kid again. The crowning gem on top of this, you are with your family. Try to turn camping into a moment to be silly with your kids. Break out the glow sticks, let them know you're really afraid of the dark too, but still tell a spooky story. Lie back together and look up at the stars, find a few constellations or talk about the moon. Watch the fireflies fly, run with your own jar, maybe stumble, all while trying to catch a few. Even break your diet and eat a roasted marshmallow without feeling guilty. Most of all, make memories with your children, like the memories you have from when you were a child. When life was slower, less digital and finding an adventure was right in your own backyard.

I canít wait to set up our trusty camper this weekend and have an adventure as a family. I already know, Liam wants símores and Fynlee canít wait to cuddle up and watch her glow sticks dance through the night sky. It will be Brynís first time sleeping out. Dinner will be grilled; something easy and paper dishes are a must. My husband wonít be able to wait until dark to start the campfire. So we can all sit around it, tell stories and laugh. Most of all, Iím looking forward to that moment right before bedtime, when everyone is all snuggled and the feeling of love and sense of family, in our little camper, is overwhelming in a heartwarming way.

I hope you get out there and have an adventure with your family this weekend.

For more from me during the week, check out my Facebook page Ė ĎBaby Talk Ė with Rachel. I would love to hear about your camping adventure. Feel free to share, comment, like and post pictures!

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